The lady’s not for turning
Readers of a certain vintage will absorb that phrase and either shudder or raise a wistful smile. It depends on your politics.
For those unaware of the phrase, it relates to Thatcher’s refusal in 1980 to make a u-turn on her economic policy, despite rising unemployment and the economic recession. Ok, so the point is a touch ironic, but I wanted to focus on the bloody-mindedness of an individual to stick to their principles.
However, this site is not for political diatribe, rather debate about all things yellow and green, consequently the lady in the title is one Delia, rather than Maggie. Incidentally, to be known by your first name alone elevates you well above the normal levels of fame.
Prudence with ambition?
Or did she just get lucky…
I’m referencing the fact that the bloated, saturated, disgusting football bubble that we have all gorged upon, since 1992 is about to well and truly burst.
With media reports that up to 50 clubs could go out of business, the situation facing our beloved game is looking rather bleak. I do not know how, where or when the game will return and in what form it will rise in. Cardboard fans with your face on it for £50, anyone? But rise it will. And what a chance to change it.
I speak as one who, Italia ‘90 aside, has little to no knowledge of football before the Premiership (league). So my football journey has walked hand-in-hand with the evolution of the top flight.
I distinctly remember when £10k a week turned Chris Sutton’s head and being staggered by the sheer amount that someone could earn. I doubt there are many Premier League Under-23 players earning less than that now.
The money in the game is obscene and has polarised the game to an extent where surviving year after year, just to gain TV money, is considered an achievement. How dull.
For only six teams to have won the league since its inception is appalling. And let’s face it, Blackburn and Leicester were mere blips, before the ‘rightful’ order resumed.
There is little to no competition in our highest league. That cannot be right. A quick glance at the winner’s roster, prior to 1992, throws up names that even the most ardent football fan could never realistically envisage happening again.
We need a return to real competition.
Whilst I doubt we could ever have a ‘draft’ as per NFL and abolish transfers, the fact remains that their league system is wide open and any team can dream of winning the Super Bowl.
Imagine little ‘ol Norwich getting first pick of Aguero, Lukaku, Salah etc…
So I for one, am rather pleased with the direction, Delia and lately nephew Tom, have taken the club.
She has steadfastly refused to budge from a position of not gambling with the future of the club for quick positional gain. One ill-fated sojourn aside, we have not thrown the stability and structure of our club into the hornet’s nest for the benefit of instant gratification.
At times it’s frustrated me. I’ve yearned for marquee signings, foreign or domestic, and been gutted when they haven’t materialised. Yet, looking at the decades since she took over, the club has been well run with it’s best interests firmly at heart.
Sure, blips have come along in 2009 and more recently in 2017, however we have ridden the wave and come through the other side.
As football is on the cusp of spectacularly imploding, I am more than glad we have a self-financing model, one where we have put financial stability ahead of throwing the dice and hoping we roll a six.
Sure, the value of some of our squad has been decimated, but to me, that makes it less likely we will sell them and perhaps we can enjoy a few more seasons of that glorious back-line (plus Todd).
We also have some great youth players to still come through, so I feel we are in a position whereby, yes we may feel the post-corona pinch, but that’s it’s one we can get through. The alternative, had we gambled, does not bear thinking about.
So to all those who have chastised Delia et al over the last few decades for not throwing wads of cash, or seeking some foreign ‘here one minute, gone the next’ investor, I hope that prudence with ambition can finally be a mantra we can all unite behind.
‘You turn if you want to, the Lady’s not for turning’.